University of Texas, Cockrell School of Engineering Promotes Faculty & Research on SlideShare

Universities are always looking for new ways to demonstrate the strength of their research and the quality their learning environment. How can a university differentiate itself as it strives to attract the brightest students and most respected faculty? In our ongoing focus on education, we spoke with Maria Arrellaga, Director of Communications for the Cockrell School of Engineering at University of Texas.

Maria, thanks for taking time to talk with us. How did you learn about SlideShare?
It’s known in academic communities as a social media and networking tool. Faculty know about it, but not as much at the premium levels. We’ve had a hard time finding other universities using it the way we’re using it.

How does your Pro channel fit into the larger plan to promote the school?
It’s so important for the branding of our school. We want people to find us when they see our presentations. I see it as being very similar to how we use our YouTube channel, which we’ve given the same url as our SlideShare channel. We’re trying to:

  1. Showcase our research so prospective students know what we have going on
  2. Use it as part of our faculty recruitment efforts

We didn’t want to lessen the impact of our presentation by having ads pop up. We wanted the channel to be ‘ours’. It is all about the Cockrell school, showcasing our content, having control over the way it looks. When people search Google on a research topic it’s great to have our branded site come up.

People are searching SlideShare like they do Google. You get into SlideShare and just start searching. If a graduate school candidate is shopping schools, we want to come up first. It helps with our partnership relations with corporate companies, as well. We want to make sure that those companies know what expertise we have.

How will students use it?
Existing students might use it to see what kind of research is going on. Right now our channel is focused on the research aspect as it relates to attracting new faculty and graduate students. Corporations and graduate students have an interest in that, too. Grad students pick a school based on the research that’s being done there or even a particular faculty member. There’s a lot of traffic on SlideShare, so we’re more likely to be found.

How will you grow your channel?
Some faculty have embraced it, but we want everyone to use it. It’s an ongoing effort. Starting with research, we’re helping the users to make sure they’re tagging their presentations correctly. We haven’t written up a cheat sheet, but that would be a good thing to have. We sit down with users and make sure they understand how SlideShare works. Faculty members send their presentations to the communications group, who tags and reviews them for quality assurance, then publish to our Pro channel. We do pay attention to the traffic. Right now we’re noticing that Water Energy mixes seems to be the most interesting to people.

We’re promoting our SlideShare channel in faculty meetings, building an intranet, and growing our internal communications. With faculty, we show them that here is another tool they can use. Our research is what we’re highlighting and we want to showcase our research stories.

What do you suggest other schools do when implementing social networking and content sharing tools like SlideShare?
It’s a great tool to take advantage of. It’s a matter of thinking it through it and setting it up in a way that makes sense for your team and the workflow of the department. It’s great for showcasing our stories.

You can find more about Cockrell School of Engineering’s SlideShare channel here http://www.slideshare.net/cockrellschool.

If you are using SlideShare in an educational setting, let us know with a comment here – we want to hear from you.

9 Responses to “University of Texas, Cockrell School of Engineering Promotes Faculty & Research on SlideShare”

  1. Leutrim

    I agree that slide share are good for sharing information.. but I don’t have any horror presentation so I don’t know what to say about it.
    Thank You

  2. Dawn Boyer

    Personally – i LOVE SlideShare and tell my STUDENTS and consulting clients about it all the time – one of the site’s biggest fans!

    You know what would be the absolute ‘bomb’ as a ‘partner’ or value added application to these SlideShare posts for college and/or universities? Having a survey engine attached where once the slides are posted, the poster can ask 20-30 questions based on the slides. And allow the responders to be anonymous or be identified to the poster (only).

    This would allow a multitude of possibilities:

    1) Slides could be used as ‘tests’ or assessments for learning with answers visible and downloadable (only) by the poster of the slides.

    2) This would allows OpenCourseWare posted slides from top-level Universities around the world to test their e-learning capabilities, while also allowing the learners to see if the slides really taught them something they retained.

    3) Allow marketers to post advertising or business development ideas and get instant feedback from the ‘audience’ online to get a metric based snapshot of whether the the advertisement worked. Not only would the slides get exposure, but the ad genies could see just how viral it could become, or simply get ideas from the audience on how to improve the advertisement overall.

    4) Can you imagine schools posting lectures (PPT’s) on SlideShare to ask viewers to provide input on whether a class is modern, contemporary, or old-school, or useless information? A set of survey questions would provide not only valid and useful information, but also a potential pool of future students to which to market the course (or the degree).

    5) Imagine presenting to a Board of Directors, or a company/client, and then walking away not knowing what the viewers thought. They could go back to the slide survey and anonymously note their concerns, objections, or thrills and kudos, so the presenter can learn from their reactions, or revamp the whole presentation based on reactions.

    6) Thinking about looking for a new job? Post sections of your resume in multiple slides and ask viewers to rate how your resume reads, what might be missing, what should be deleted, how did the video embedded in the # slide come across to the audience, etc.? This survey would allow viewers to provide constructive criticism and possibly very valuable information to the poster.

    That’s my brainstorming idea and two-cents. I think that SlideShare has more value than most folks realize.

    Dawn Boyer
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/DawnBoyer
    LinkedIn Open Networker

  3. Jordi Casteleyn

    well, I’m asking my students to produce a slidecast. This assignment is part of their business communication or general communication course (Ghent, Belgium). I have also conducted research about the students’ experiences using your website and the effectiveness of slidecasting itself.

    Here you can read some of the results which focus on education:

    http://www.pixel-online.net/ICT4LL2010/common/download/Proceedings_pdf/IBL19-Casteleyn.pdf

    I also wrote a paper about slidecasting, but then from the perspective of professional communication:

    http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=5530021

    enjoy

  4. William Boren

    SlideShare is an outstanding presentation tool. I first used SlideShare to document the Social Media Training Pilot Program that I designed for the University of Texas at Dallas

    http://www.slideshare.net/williamVSAG/social-media-coordinators-pilot-program

    I frequently encourage College Students to create SlideShare Presentations about their key accomplishments, research projects that can be displayed on their LinkedIn Profile for HR Recruiters …

    Last week, I embedded a YouTube video inside of a SlideShare presentation for my first time which is receiving great feedback from viewers.

    SlideShare.net/OnlineVideoSolutions

  5. Vivian Cusick

    Along with entry. I just stumbled upon your blog not to mention wanted to point out that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed combined with I hope you review constantly rapidly.

  6. Silvia Pastor

    Estoy utilizando SlideShare en el blog con el cual realizo las orientaciones y sugerencias para mis clases de químicas en una escuela de nivel secundario pública. Realizo presentaciones en power point y las subo a mi blog para que las utilicen mis alumnos. Ahora ellos han realizado sus propias presentaciones y la vamos a subir para compartirlas con todos. Ahora tuve inconvenientes en entrar al sitio para subir esas presentaciones, ¿es porque han modificado la manera de acceder, o sólo se trata de un problema pasajero? Espero que no haya cambios en la accesibilidad, pues me parecía sencilla y fácil para mis estudiantes, ojalá continúe así.